Delaware passes bills to keep minors from tanning and lawmakers from lobbying

 (Shana O'Malley/NewsWorks)

(Shana O'Malley/NewsWorks)

With just one day of session left, Delaware lawmakers are moving forward with a number of bills before their June 30 deadline.

Several new laws are headed to Governor Jack Markell’s desk including one that bans minors from tanning beds and one that will make former lawmakers wait at least one year before becoming a lobbyist.

Senate Bill 94, will change Delaware’s law on tanning facilities, prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 from using UV tanning beds.

Under current Delaware law, minors ages 14-17 have to have parental consent. Anyone under 14 is not permitted to use the facilities.

“The world health organization actually established the devices as a Class One carcinogen as in the same category as asbestos and tobacco and recommends that minors not be allowed to use them at all,” explained Rep. Dennis Williams, D-Talleyville.

He added that medical studies have shown that minors who use these devices have a higher probability of developing skin cancer.

The beds are commonly used by young women for school dances and pageants. Rep. Stephen Smyk, R-Milton, said his daughters used the beds for prom.

“They’re not going to be happy with my vote,” he said.

Lawmakers turned lobbyists

While it’s not uncommon for former lawmakers to take jobs as lobbyists after their term, a new bill in Delaware will limit when they’re allowed to make that transition.

House Bill 13 will require legislators to wait at least one year before they’re allowed to lobby in the General Assembly.

“We have seen veteran legislators leave this building after wielding considerable influence for years, only to turn around a couple months later and use that influence to steer public policy as lobbyists,” said Rep. John Kowalko. D-Newark, sponsor of the bill, said. “This creates a public perception that they have ulterior motives and could call into question decisions legislators make while in office.”

Those against the legislation said lawmakers should be free to take any job they’d like after serving the state. Those who break the law would receive an unclassified misdemeanor.

Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania have similar laws.

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